Planning and equipment upgrades amid stronger markets

XtremeAg farmers Kelly Garrett, Matt Miles, and Kevin Matthews start out the new year as most farmers do – planning for a successful coming year. As the markets stay strong, they turn their attention to crop insurance, planter upgrades, and the year ahead for XtremeAg.farm.

Kelly Garrett - Arion, Iowa

A fifth-generation farmer, Kelly Garrett farms corn, soybeans, and winter wheat in western Iowa.

We are working on our planters this week as we get them ready for planting in a few months. We are changing out the closing wheel systems on two of our planters and installing a new curved tooth poly-wheel from Integrated Ag Solutions called The Closer. Seed placement is critical for yield ROI and we like the way these wheels eliminate sidewall compaction without lifting the seed placement.

Due to the strength of the grain markets, we are looking at using crop insurance to guarantee revenue per acre. The higher market prices allow us to lock in a higher guaranteed revenue per acre. We use crop insurance as a hedge. If we can guarantee a certain revenue per acre with crop insurance, then that is a no-brainer. I plan to be insured at the highest rate possible to leverage this insurance strategy.

We just returned from North Carolina where we had our annual winter planning meeting at Kevin Matthews’ farm. We discussed the success of XtremeAg in our first year and planned for the upcoming year. My wife Amber and I enjoyed seeing all the partners and their spouses and we are excited for the future of XtremeAg.

Matt Miles - McGehee, Arkansas

Matt is a fourth-generation farmer in southeast Arkansas who grows corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton.

As next spring is approaching at a rapid pace, I’m thankful to have 2020 behind us. Lots of abnormalities last year, but as we always do, we made it through another year, and starting a new crop is always exciting. To make it more exciting, this is the first time in a while that commodity prices have been at the level to show a positive cash flow.

As we plan our next farming year, we also spent time planning the next year for XtremeAg. I have always searched for a brotherhood of like-minded farmers and I am blessed to be a part of a group such as XtremeAg. Hopefully, the decisions we made this week will lead to a successful 2021 and help countless other farmers.

Due to the pandemic, continuing education for us as farmers is a bit more challenging. One thing I would encourage is to adapt to the new ways of learning and continue to find ways to improve your farm. Hopefully, this thing will be over soon, and we can all get back to normal. Stay safe and good luck.

Xtreme Ag farmers at 2020 winter meeting
Photo credit: XtremeAg

Kevin Matthews - East Bend, North Carolina

Kevin and his wife, Cindy, own and operate Matthews Family Farms of North Carolina, Inc., Precision Nutrient Management, Inc., and Deep Creek Grain, Inc. in East Bend and Yadkinville.

Recovering from an arm and shoulder injury wasn’t in my plans for the holiday season, but dealing with the unexpected is just another part of farming. We keep pushing to manage and harvest crops no matter the toll our bodies take. This downtime created more time to reflect on Christmas, the birth of Christ, the past and upcoming growing season, and my many family and friends who have helped me recover from my surgery.

The XtremeAg team just left our farm after our annual business meeting, and we couldn’t be more excited about the coming year. We had the pleasure of welcoming David Kohl at our meeting to discuss advising and teaching finance, profitability, and the importance of time management with our health, family, and farm. We will touch on these topics throughout 2021 on XtremeAg.farm. What a difference a year makes: The low-interest rates and profitable commodity prices are a badly needed morale boost for all farmers.

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XtremeAg.farm is a team of the nation’s top producers who have come together to share their experience, expertise, knowledge, and farming practices with other farmers. Members get access to exclusive content from the team as well as one-on-one support for their own farming operation. Visit XtremeAg.farm for more information.

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